What does LeBron, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Garnett, Anthony Davis and James Harden all have in common? Besides being MVPs and/or MVP candidates, they are all superstars who had a shot blocked by Manu GINOBILI (Barkley voice)! Another thing they all have in common is they all have a great respect for one of the greatest Sixth Men (along with John Havlicek and Kevin McHale), lefties and international players in NBA history. And on August 27th of 2018, the four-time NBA Champion and future Hall of Famer announced on social media he was officially hanging up the sneakers, which led to these MVPs, superstars and other NBA players from present and past to give thanks and show love to the man who killed a lot of their championship dreams and even once killed a bat (actually, the bat didn't die) during a NBA game.
Before we get into those tweets, here's a great quote from Coach Popovich about Manu after the end of the Spurs postseason in 2017.
“He’s really an anomaly in that regard. He has that same foot-on-your-neck attitude that Kobe and Michael had, those types of guys. Magic and Larry. He’s got the same attitude and plays with that same fire. He always has. He’s been a huge part of any success that we’ve had. To see him at this age, giving us games here and there that take you back. It’s just a thrill.”
It really was a thrill. I've had the pleasure of watching him since his rookie season (when he had a lot of hair on his head) and even though he cost my favorite team a couple championships, I'm still going to say, "Gracias Manu!"
Today, with a wide range of feelings, I'm announcing my retirement from basketball. IMMENSE GRATITUDE to everyone (family, friends, teammates, coaches, staff, fans) involved in my life in the last 23 years. It's been a fabulous journey. Way beyond my wildest dreams. pic.twitter.com/3MLCUtmd6K— Manu Ginobili (@manuginobili) August 27, 2018
@manuginobili Congratulations on one helluva career brother! It was a pleasure to match up against you over the years. Regular season, Finals, National Team, didn’t matter was always a treat! The game of basketball has you to thank for the most swag move in..— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 28, 2018
basketball right now which is the “Euro Step”!!!! God bless you, thanks for the playing the game the right way and for the competition!!! ?? ???— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 28, 2018
Congrats on an amazing career @manuginobili. You embody how basketball is meant to be played. With Passion, joy, and obviously a Champion through and through. Inspiration many sir. pic.twitter.com/Z86WgYFVMk— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) August 27, 2018
What a player @manuginobili! A pleasure to compete against you and enjoy your greatness. Congrats!— Steve Nash (@SteveNash) August 27, 2018
Congrats @manuginobili on an amazing career. Great player. Fierce competitor. Winner. Next stop: HOF— Dirk Nowitzki (@swish41) August 27, 2018
@manuginobili , you were the main person I looked at when deciding I was gonna be a 6th man for good. Your style, talent, competitiveness, and will to win will be truly missed. Nothing but respect! #best6thman pic.twitter.com/gHsjX9yPvY— ? Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) August 27, 2018
I competed against you for 9 years. I sat through countless pregame meetings discussing how not to let you go to your left hand because when you do, you’re impossible to stop! Then, I became your teammate and got to witness first hand how you bring way more value to a team than pic.twitter.com/JJYbvXNToE— LaMarcus Aldridge (@aldridge_12) August 27, 2018
just scoring. You’re a ultimate competitor and a “team first” kind of guy. You lift the culture in an organization just by simply being around. You were even successful in getting me to participate in more team activities than I have in my entire career. It was an honor competing— LaMarcus Aldridge (@aldridge_12) August 27, 2018
Hell of a career @manuginobili . One of the best to ever do it. Pick and roll genius. Euro-step king. Hated trying to force you right in the pnr knowing you would still snake back to the left hand. I’ve borrowed a lot of your moves and set-ups. The game will miss you !— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) August 27, 2018
Manu - you’re a living legend. Thank you for all the great moments and showing us how to be a leader on and off the court. It was an honor to watch you at work. https://t.co/8Av5tLUNNH— Karl-Anthony Towns (@KarlTowns) August 28, 2018
Love you Manu ✊? 1 of my all time favorites. South American Mike Jordan ?... loved watching you play, creativity, skill, hustle, smarts, Respect bro!!! https://t.co/W3gEELknpO— Baron Davis (@BaronDavis) August 28, 2018
Manuuuuuu! Noooooo! There has been no one like you, and there won’t be again. You have made us all proud. Enjoy your beautiful family and the next stage of your journey.— David Robinson (@DavidtheAdmiral) August 27, 2018
Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It's about impact, influence and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire teammates. Not one day he didn’t own all three. pic.twitter.com/hJraB1Z19I— Brent Barry (@Barryathree) August 27, 2018
THANK YOU for absolutely everything you have done for basketball. A role model for all of us that love this wonderful sport. Fortunate to have shared locker room with you the last 2 years.#GraciasManu pic.twitter.com/HBJDvjIw2j— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) August 27, 2018
One of the most underrated and selfless superstars of all time!! https://t.co/vZLzSn30g2— Danny Ainge (@danielrainge) August 27, 2018
Didn't care if he started or came off the bench. Just wanted to win for the team. ? pic.twitter.com/7PK8LP62Ze— nick vanexel (@vanexel31) August 28, 2018
Congratulations on a HOF career @manuginobili !! Fierce competitor, great teammate, and even better human being. I feel blessed to have called you a teammate and brother. Enjoy retirement!! #GraciasManu #gospursgo #spurslegend pic.twitter.com/Ll764UaV2L— Roger Mason Jr (@MoneyMase) August 28, 2018
One of my first “welcome to the league” moments. Thank you for what you have done for your fellow lefties and a bringing an unmatched level of creativity to the game. Much respect! @manuginobili the game will miss you! @nba pic.twitter.com/XUljnFGSRk— Baze (@24Bazemore) August 27, 2018